UGC Report


University Grants Commission (UGC) has requested the current government to introduce on-demand examinations at the undergraduate level to reduce failures and malpractices that happen during scheduled exams. UGC also wants to ensure that the decision to appear for the exam comes from the students and not the institution.

The University Grants Commission (UGC)  panel has suggested that on-demand examinations be introduced for students at the undergraduate level. UGC has proposed for a National Board to conduct examinations emphasising on “exams should be held when the learner is ready” and urged the current Modi government to introduce the initiative.

This proposal would be a reform by the UGC panel on evaluation. The proposal would reorganise and rearrange matters that relate to examinations which were set up in May 2018 in a committee that was chaired by Vice Chancellor, Bharati Vidyapeeth (Deemed to be University), Pune, M.M. Salunkhe.

According to the report submitted by UGC last week, the UGC panel stated, “Assessment can take place when the learners consider themselves ready to appear. Thus readiness depends on the learner and not institutions.” The panel also added that this initiative would lead to a reduction in failures and also malpractices that occur during scheduled examinations.

The plan suggested an extensive use of automation and technology, with question papers being drawn from a question bank. The Board suggested that the on-demand exams should first begin for distance mode programmes and then be implemented to all other eligible programmes without any age or eligibility restrictions.

UGC also recommended setting up of a National Board that would deal with the operation and execution of these on-demand examinations. “Uniform grading and credit transfer policies must be evolved for this to work”, said the report by the UGC panel.

This evaluation reform is based on the poor nature of University’s productivity. It also aims to change the dearth of employment that Indian graduates and postgraduates face.

Though many students welcome the idea, thinking it to be synonymous to the GMAT tests, others remain sceptical. Nidhi, second-year student, Daulat Ram College told DU Beat, “The idea is good and is definitely an attempt to show that universities and the educational committees are trying to be more student-friendly, and are finally catching up to international standards.”

She further added, “However, I don’t think universities- or least the government universities have enough resources to be able to implement these efficiently. This will ultimately lead to chaos and in the end, it will up to us students to bear the brunt of all the poor implementation.”

Teachers also echoed similar concerns about the inefficiency of the suggestion. As reported by The Print, Professor Amita Singh, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University said, “A university is not a call centre that can work 24X7 to fulfil the demands of innumerable students. Academic preparation needs discipline, a conducive environment for students to think, discuss and debate while preparing for exams. There should also be the availability of libraries, books, coffee shops and hostels.”

However, keeping the debate of efficiency aside, it must be noted that while the UGC issued guidelines to all universities in 2015 to offer students a choice based credit system, the current reality is that there is little flexibility or choice for learners. It added that students should have the freedom to opt for courses beyond their core specialisations.

Feature Image Credits: India Today

Shreya Juyal

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On 17th and 18th of March, various newspapers and online news portals carried the report of University Grants Commission (UGC) having decided to cut funding for research centres at several universities across the country that study social discrimination. According to a report  by the Telegraph, UGC has decided to cut funding for various research centers that were established under the 11th five-year plan (2007-2012) and then were later renewed in the 12th plan. While everyone was expecting a renewal of the same to take place in the 13th plan, various varsities that include such centres received circulars saying that their plan funding would end on March 31.

The Wire, reported  “According to ministry and UGC sources who spoke to the Telegraph, this order has been sent to all those centres that have not been upgraded to a full-fledged department by the universities.” It also quoted N. Sukumar, Ambedkar scholar and teacher of political science at Delhi University who said “It’s ironic that these centres, which research Dalits, B.R. Ambedkar’s philosophy, social exclusion and inclusive policies like reservation, are being closed down when the University Grants Commission (the higher education regulator) is funding courses on Vedic studies,”


However on 19th of March, NDTV reported that the UGC has said that the letter is “blatantly false” and “based on a forged letter. In its press release, UGC said that it has established Centers for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy in various universities in the Xth Plan on plan-to-plan basis provided these Centres give a satisfactory progress in the areas of their focus.  Keeping in view the same procedure the UGC would be extending these Centres from 1st April, 2017 onwards.   Reiterating what NDTV said, the UGC claimed that the letter in the newspaper is a forged one and has not been issued by Ms. Sushma Rathore, the undersecretary of UGC. It also reaffirmed that no records of theirs show such a letter being sent and that legal action would be taken against the person behind this forgery.


Image Credits: www.freepressjournal.in


Aditya Narang

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